Hyperspace Challenge is going virtual for the first time in our 3-year program history. As such, we ask for your patience and partnership and we strive to make this year’s challenge better than ever! All companies should plan to give around 2-3 hours of their time in August for a series of webinars with government users. This time will increase dependent on the number or webinars your team in interested in attending. These webinars will help you further understand agencies’ needs and how your capabilities may help solve these problems. After the webinar series, plan to give 5 hours of your time to develop your submission, due on September 10, 2020. Submissions are your explanation of how your company’s capabilities respond to specific problem statement(s). If your submission is selected as a finalist to participate in Hyperspace Accelerator, prepare to spend 2-3 hours per week on collaborative webinars October through November. Thorough out October and November, we will be helping you identify contracting opportunities, which will require more time dependent on which, if any you chose to pursue. Then, on December 3rd, you’ll participate in a virtual Demo Day, in which you’ll interact with government users and illustrate how your capabilities fit government customer needs.
We have worked with each problem sponsor to confirm they have a pathway to purchasing/contracting at the end of Hyperspace Challenge. This is to say they either have buying authority or a pathway to a contract. Part of the role we serve is to help you understand and maneuver the contracting process through the Hyperspace Challenge.
Yes, you can partner with another company or organization. Please have the ‘lead’ company be the company who would the lead on any contract you would be pursuing moving forward. Revenue numbers are only required for the lead, if you’d like to include your collaborator’s revenue that is optional, the appropriate place to do this are in the sections “Company Revenue Overall” and “Federal Goverment Revenue History” on the written portion of the submission. Please do not combine the revenues from both companies into one number, keep revenues clearly designated to the appropriate company or organization.
There are numerous contracting and acquisition opportunities that might exist through the program. Hyperspace Challenge is one of many initiatives emerging as Space Technology Accelerators within the Space Force, Air Force, and participating in our challenge brings you into a network that also includes Colorado Springs and Los Angeles, as well as other programs focused on increasing the speed of innovation within the defense community. We cannot guarantee that participants will win contracts or undergo rapid acquisition with government agencies. However, we’re here to help facilitate the contracting process as new contracts are a primary goal of Hyperspace Challenge. We do know that startups who have participated in similar programs have gone on to contract or have their technology purchased by government users they met during their respective programs.
We encourage companies to use appropriate discretion as they interact with defense users and peer participants. We want your capabilities to be understood, but your IP and/or trade secrets will remain protected. Rest assured that anything shared with the Hyperspace Challenge team will be used only for purposes of screening, vetting, and selecting applicants for full participation.
After the Hyperspace Challenge, your company may be assigned a Government Navigator who will continue to assist in your company’s pursuit of rapid acquisition or contracting opportunities. This person will help broker follow-on meetings, navigate submission processes, and generally vouch for you within the defense community. Because there are many ways a company’s technology might reach end users within the defense community, we can’t prescribe exactly what will happen and a precise timeline, but our commitment is to help you move as quickly as possible to a real business relationship over three to six months post-accelerator.
For startup / small business teams:We recommend three roles from your company be present, dependent on the activity, to realize the full benefit of the interactions:
- Business Development Lead (CEO for many startups)
- Technical Lead (CTO for many startups, understands overall capabilities of the company’s technology[ies])
- Product Lead / Developer (i.e. team member working under Technical Lead who is hands-on with the code)
For university teams:We are interested and committed to building lasting relationships with universities. With that in mind, we do ask that your team have a faculty member committed to participating in the program. Beyond that, we are flexible with how your team is constituted. We do value creating opportunities for students at all levels (undergrad, graduate, and PhD), so if there aren’t any on your team, we’d appreciate learning if you’d be open to including them, and how you plan to accomplish that.
Our program is dedicated to ‘customer discovery’, with potential government partners. As a university team, you can expect to participate in the webinars we host with startups about how to work with the government and identify opportunities. You’ll have a chance to meet one-on-one with potential government partners who are interested in your team and working towards new solutions. We are also adding components to the program that are unique to what a university team is looking for, like grant resources and introductions to networks within the government dedicated to supporting research.
We do anticipate the time commitment to be the similar to what it is for startups, about 2-3 hours per week October – November, and participation in the Space Startup Summit on December 3rd – all virtual. We do not expect the full team to be present in every meeting, but that you work as a team and designate appropriate participants as you see fit.